Urgent Deadline: PG&E Files for Protective Bankruptcy, Forcing Fire Victims to File Claims by October 21, 2019

California - (MPG)  |  By Jenny Kaplan, JKC

Fire Victims Can File Without an Attorney!!!!

SANTA ROSA, CA (MPG) - A grassroots campaign of fire victims held a press conference on the two-year anniversary of the devastating Tubbs fire to bring awareness to fellow fire victims about the rapidly approaching deadline to file claims against PG&E and to share vital information on this looming deadline -- spoken fire victim to fire victim in a language they all understand. Over half of fire victims have not yet filed claims. This group wants to let those thousands know they could be well compensated by PG&E, and they can file a claim for free and without  an attorney by going to www.pgefireinfo.com. Facing billions of dollars in liability claims, PG&E filed for protective bankruptcy, effectively cutting in half the time fire victims would normally have to make claims against the utilities behemoth. The deadline for filing claims is now October 21, 2019 by 5pm. The claims process is simpler than many believe. Claims are not limited to property damage and include lost income, loss of community, and emotional distress. Victims do not need to hire lawyers or know the monetary value of their claim before filing. This rapidly approaching deadline has fire victims scrambling to file claims, and many more are unaware that they are about to lose their right to file forever. They need to know about www.pgefireinfo.com

October 21, 2019 is the deadline for submitting claims against PG&E for losses relating to the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire. It is vitally important that victims file their claims by this date, even if they do not have a lawyer or don’t know the exact amount of their claim. These details can be worked out after filing. Filing is free and requires very little effort. Detailed instructions on how to file out the forms is available at www.pgefireinfo.com. To date, too many have not started the claims process. Many are holding back because of misinformation. This low participation rate could affect all fire victims, including those who file claims. Numbers count in the bankruptcy process. Eventually, a bankruptcy plan will be hammered out by the different creditor groups or may be subject to a vote of creditors. Wildfire victims could be the largest creditor group and largest voting bloc, but only if more people to submit claims. Claims are not limited to those who lost their homes. “If you ran out the door with virtually nothing, drove through smoke and flames, were shut out of your home for weeks only to return a burned-out wasteland, you have a claim for emotional distress. Chances are you had smoke damage, lost trees and landscaping, and property damage that was not covered fully by insurance. If you were a renter or lived in a mobile home, you lost personal property and were almost certainly underinsured. You have a claim,” said Helen Sedwick, a Glen Ellen area fire victim. 

Anyone affected by the many fires that tore through California should file a claim. These relevant fires are: Atlas, Butte, Camp, Cascade, Cherokee, Highway 37, Honey, La Porte, Lobo, Mayacama, McCourtney, Nuns (which includes Adobe, Norrbom, Patrick, Pressley, and Oakmont fires), Pocket, Point, Potter/Redwood, Sullivan, Sulphur, and Tubbs fires. The forms must be filed no later than the “Bar Date” of October 21, 2019. The Proof of Claim form is simple, takes only 15 minutes to complete. Detailed information on how to fill out and file the form can be found at pgefireinfo.com.   Claimants do not need to include documentation or other proof now; that will happen later.  They may fill in the form electronically, mail it in, or send it via overnight courier (e.g.; FedEx, Priority Mail).  Fire survivors have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by filing a Proof of Claim form in the PG&E bankruptcy.

About The Fire Victims Group:

PGEFIREINFO.com is a group of five volunteers who lost their homes in Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen. They are dedicated to helping their neighbors and communities throughout Northern California receive a fair recovery from PG&E for the devastating losses of the 2015, 2017, and 2018 fires. James Finn is a cardiac anesthesiologist and critical care physician.  Deciding to retire after barely escaping with his life and seeing almost everything he owned obliterated by the Tubbs fire, he now dedicates his time to advocacy for responsible utility management and fire safety, as well as helping fellow fire survivors navigate the intricacies of insurance and understand the truth about financial recovery from PG&E. Howard Klepper retired after his home and shop, along with 30 guitars he built by hand, were destroyed by the Nuns fire.  He wants all those who were similarly injured by this greedy and reckless company to maximize their financial recovery. After losing her home in the Nuns Fire, Helen Sedwick is dedicated to help inform and encourage fire survivors. Volunteering countless hours, she is holding community informational meetings for all fire survivors while helping her Bennett Ridge neighborhood obtain grants to reduce fire risks. Robert and Linda Upton purchased their Glen Ellen property to keep their horses at home. They are horrified at the misinformation about making claims from PG&E. They want to be sure everyone has the real facts about the process and that friends and neighbors do not regret missing the deadline when PG&E writes large checks next year.